Know your club: Pat's Pub
403 E Hastings St.
By Mike Usinger
The Georgia Straight
December 13, 2007
days, Pat's Pub is where you'll find the likes of alt-country
legend Alejandro Escovedo, alt-noise upstarts the Ponys, and local
indie gems Lightning Dust. Flip back to the early 1900s, and the
bar was the place to be for those who enjoyed Scandinavian-flavoured
used to be a big bar for all the Swedish dockworkers and fishermen,"
says Daryl Nelson, general manager of Pat's Pub. "Along with the
Finns, that's where they used to hang out."
they did more than that. Chicago jazz musician Ada "Bricktop"
Smith recalled playing the bar in her 1983 autobiography
Bricktop . Back then, Pat's Pub was known as the Patricia
Café, and it (along with the Patricia Hotel) was owned by an entrepreneur
named Will Bowman.
Photo: City of Vancouver Arcives,
biggest customers–and I do mean big," wrote Smith, "were the Swedish
lumberjacks who came into Vancouver on their time off. Tall, strapping
fellows, they could make a bottle of whisky disappear in no time.
Pretty soon, they'd be drunk and ready to fight."
of the most famous brawls took place on Christmas Eve in 1919.
Bricktop ended up with a broken leg.
with the hotel, the Patricia Café opened in 1914.
the parking lot is today, that used to be a stable," Nelson recalls.
the late '20s, the hotel was home to Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton,
who is now remembered as one of the giants of American jazz.
used to play the bar quite a bit," Nelson says. "Back then the
Patricia was a jazz café."
World War II, the Patricia slowly became the neighbourhood haunt
for those who liked their beer served cheap and in pint glasses.
a number of years, it was just a regular old neighbourhood draft
bar," Nelson reveals. "From what I read, that probably started
in the '50s."
years ago, the Patricia Café–which at some point became known
as Pat's Pub–began hosting live music.
I started here, as a waiter, there was a lot of longshoremen–a
serious after-work crowd from the area," Nelson remembers. "It
was a really busy bar, almost every night of the week. But as
the crowd got older, I guess it did less drinking after work,
so we decided to bring in a younger crowd."
Pat's is gaining ground as one of the best rooms in the city for
catching underground talent, both local and from out of town.
And although the rough-and-tumble Scandinavians from yesteryear
would probably not be impressed, you're now more likely to find
brewed-on-the-premises beer on the tables than empty bottles of
trying to provide a clean, fun space," Nelson says.
Photo: Leslie Sheraton, PNE parade 1960, CVA
Postcard circa 1958
Photo: 1945 vpl archives